Segments in this Video

Introduction: Viking Voyage (00:27)


The Vikings crossed oceans in open boats without navigational tools and pulled ships across land to avoid rocky seas. It is a mystery how they reached the Black Sea and Americas.

Voyage Preparation (05:13)

At Bergen Port, a knarr replica is loaded to cross the North Sea; the crew hopes to gain perspective on Viking experiences. The Captain is accompanied by master sailor Robin Knox-Johnston; archaeologist David McCulloch, and historian Tinna Damgaard-Sorensen meet in Denmark to study excavated boats.

First Leg (07:17)

The crew assembles and boards the knarr replica; they row from shore and then hoist their sails. Knox-Johnston makes the first indicators on a sun shadow compass; they travel up Shetland Fjord to Hernar Island. Such voyages are described in Viking sagas; artwork and excavated ships reveal rigging systems.

North Sea Embarkment (07:48)

After spending the night on Hernar Island, the crew delays departure for eight hours, finding the waters too rough. They take ship before midnight, relying on Knox-Johnston's sensibilities for navigation. High waves and wind speeds briefly threaten to flood the ship.

Discovering Norse History (03:48)

After sailing all night, the crew sleeps; Knox-Johnston checks their position against the sun shadow compass, finding them pushed too southerly. The Vikings began arriving in Pict occupied Shetland around 800 AD; excavated sites suggest the societies peacefully coexisted.

High Seas (05:50)

The wind eases and blows from the wrong direction; the ship slows, weighted by thirteen tons of stone ballast. The crew uses an engine to correct course; cloud cover requires reliance on wave direction for navigation. Weather conditions worsen and they must wait before hoisting sails again.

Successful Journey (06:51)

Weather conditions improve and the knarr replica is on due west course for Shetland; signs of land appear. They land in Out Skerries as intended. Knox-Johnston praises the boat's design, and construction.

Last Leg (10:58)

The crew unloads the ballasts; skids are positioned and lubricated. The ship is pulled out of the water, but the keel breaks; a rope is fastened around the stern and local volunteers haul the knarr over a narrow strip of Shetland, into the Atlantic Ocean.

Credits: Viking Voyage (00:47)

Credits: Viking Voyage

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Secrets Of The Ancients: Viking Voyage

Part of the Series : Secrets Of The Ancients
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



From the eighth to the twelfth centuries the Vikings were the masters of the northern seas, sending their slender ships into the uncharted waters of the North Atlantic. They discovered the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and far-off Greenland and even found their way to North America. But how did they make such voyages in the days before even the simple magnetic compass? The navigational techniques used by the Vikings remain shrouded in mystery. In Viking Voyage, world-renowned mariner Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and a Norwegian crew attempt a journey across the North Sea in a replica Viking ship.

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: FPT185536

ISBN: 978-1-64867-004-6

Copyright date: ©1999

Closed Captioned

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